Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 23, 2020

Market Update | Podcast - 01-23-20 - Old Nepean



The Guyz chat about what's happening in the Old Nepean market for January 23rd.

Jan. 20, 2020

Ottawa Real Estate Podcast - Pricing Your Home! | Ep. 2 | Miguel Vidal and Christopher Shane



 

Miguel and Chris from The Home Guyz Team talk about the importance of pricing your home accurately when listing in a Sellers Market! 

 

More information can be found at: https://thehomeguyz.podbean.com/

 

Jan. 17, 2020

Market Update | Podcast - 01-16-20 - Barrhaven



The Guyz chat about what's happening in the Barrhaven market for the week of January 16th

Jan. 15, 2020

Market Update | Podcast - 01-06-20 - Kanata Stittsville



The Guyz chat about what's happening in the Kanata-Stittsville market for the week of January 6

Jan. 13, 2020

Ottawa Real Estate Podcast - Intro to Miguel Vidal and Christopher Shane | What to expect! | Ep. 1



 

Miguel Vidal and Christopher Shane introduce themselves and let you know what to expect from these podcasts. 

 

More information can be found at: https://thehomeguyz.podbean.com/

 

Posted in Podcasts
Dec. 11, 2019

Holiday Décor Without Causing Damage to Your Home.

Holiday decorations are a tradition in most families, and a festive way to join in the Holiday spirit. But many people are unaware that you could cause damage to your home. We have some tips to making sure you’re well prepared and informed with the best ways to install lights, hang garland and make your home a festive fiesta while eliminating damage and staying safe. 



 

  1. Check your Lights 
Unsafe Christmas lights can be a fire risk. We recommend that you check all your lights carefully to ensure there is no frayed or broken wires. Always use outdoor lights outside- and indoor lights inside. It’s also highly recommended that you buy lights that are certified. Look for the following markers on the tag- CSA, ULC or C-UL.


  2. Use clips with care 
The easiest way to hang outdoor lights is with clips but use common sense when doing so. Gutters are not weight baring and hanging heavy garlands can cause damage. Always read the instructions to make yourself aware of the weight restrictions the clips may have. Never pull or push on the gutter to get the clip or lighting into place. Never let cords or connectors sit in the gutter, as a buildup or snow or water could be hazardous. 


  3. Never use nails to hang décor 
Hammering in a nail into the exterior of your home to get your decorations exactly where you want them may be tempting, but it can cause damage to your home. Not only could cracking happen, but you risk the holes being exposed and letting moisture into the home causing rot.  
 

  4. Don’t use staples 
White staples can appear to be the fastest and most efficient way of hanging string lights, staples can also cause damage to the exterior of your home. Like the nails, staples can cause cracking, and those cracks can lead to moisture getting in.   

  5. Hang garland carefully 
The look of an evergreen garland framing the front door can be lovely, but if not done correctly, it can cause damage to your door frame. Never nail or staple into your door frame.  You can carefully drill a pilot hole and use screw eyes, or better yet, use suction cup hangers. This will make your garland less secure but will not cause any exterior damage to your home. 

6) Find alternatives 
If you have a wooden porch rails, downspouts, or a wooden arbor. Garlands or lights can often be installed to these structures by pulling tightly and tying them off. Horizontal structures are the best, as the garland can hold itself onto the structure and you don’t have gravity working against your décor.  Using cable ties on downspouts is another great alternative that won’t cause damage.  
  6. Remember your ladder safety  
Ladder safety may make you think of comedic scenes of Clark Griswold, but the danger is real. You must make sure you’re using the ladder correctly. Always clear the surface, have a spotter and three points of contact on the ladder. Not only must you be aware of your own safety first and foremost, but also make sure you use common sense with where your resting your ladder again your home. Make sure it’s a sturdy surface, you don’t want to dent your gutter (or rip it off, like they do in the movies).   



Holiday decorations are a big part of the season, but don’t let them leave permanent damage, follow our tips and you’ll be merrily hanging Christmas lights without worry! 

Nov. 8, 2019

Winter Moving Tips; It is Possible to Buy, Sell, and Move Successfully in the Winter Months.

If you’re thinking about moving, it can feel quite overwhelming. If you’re moving during the winter months, it can feel like an intimidating task. Weather can add an additional challenge in an already stressful day. But it is possible; The Home Guyz have seen lots of successful, smooth winter moves. Whether you’ve decided to use a moving company for the big day or are using friends and family to assist, the preparation is the same.  Remember, they’re doing you a favour and the least you can do is ensure that you’re prepared for their help. It will be much appreciated. Here are some moving tips that can help your moving day, or even help you feel less anxious about the prospect of buying and selling your home in the winter months. 


#1  Check the weather and keep everyone in the loop. If a really big storm is expected, it may be best to select a different moving day, if all parties are willing and able. It’s a matter of safety for everyone involved, as well as anyone on the road that day.  



#2  Keep a “Moving Day Essentials Box”. These are the items you’ll need access to on moving day. You don’t want to go searching through boxes looking for something you need. Below is a list of all the items to consider putting in the box.

#3  Prepare your clothing - Remember not to pack away all your warm clothing and outerwear - keep a separate box for keeping these items handy if needed. Dress in layers; it may be freezing outside but as you start lifting, you’ll soon warm up. Make sure that you can accommodate by removing clothing. 

via GIPHY

#4 
 Have a warming station; this is suitable whether you’re using a moving company or not. You may not have the heat on in the house (as the doors will be open all day) but make sure that you have a room where people can go to warm up. 


#5
  Have hot drinks available. Again, keep them in your moving day essentials box with a crockpot, kettle and mugs so that you can provide friends and family (or movers) with some hot food and drinks. There are lots of recipes that you can quickly and easily prepare for moving day to keep everyone warm, like this one!  If delegation feels like the last thing you want to do on moving day, it’s a great task for grandma, or a pregnant friend who can’t help with lifting. Lots of people want to help but aren’t always able- and this task will keep them busy and useful and will be very much appreciated by everyone. 



#6  Have tarps and towels available for both residences. You’ll want to lay them down in the main walkways to keep from treading snow, slush or salt throughout the house. Have extra garbage bags handy (either in the house or in the truck) to cover items you may not want to get wet.


#7
  Prepare walkways ahead of time. The last thing you need on moving day is for anyone to slip and fall. Make sure to have walkways cleared and salted before anyone starts moving anything.  



#8  Take Extra care with fragile Items. Extreme cold temperatures can shatter glass, so be mindful when packing. Some fragile items may need an extra layer of protection (bubble wrap etc.) and ensure these boxes do not get left in a moving truck overnight. You can create extra labels for these items to make certain that they can easily be spotted and separated from the other items. Keep important electronics in mind too, as they can also be damaged in extreme cold.  

#9 
 Make sure you keep snowplows in mind. Find out ahead of time where the best place would be to park extra cars, that won’t be plowed in. You do not want your friends and family getting plowed in after a long day of helping you move. 

#10 
 Get a babysitter. The house will be cold, the kids will be miserable, and it will slow down moving day. Avoid that hot mess by making sure you have someone who can take the kids for a fun day while you do the hard lifting.

#11  Once all the boxes are in, make your first task making the beds. You’ll be cold and tired, and it will be a long day. Once you’re exhausted and ready for bed- it’s the worst feeling to realize you must find/ unpack linen and make the beds. Do this first- you’ll thank yourself at the end of the day when you’re crawling into pre-made cozy beds.  



#12 
 Take care of your movers. It’s not an easy job for them so make sure you take care of them well in tough conditions. And if you’re satisfied, make sure to give them a great review online. 




#13 … MOST important! 
 Make sure your utilities are all set and on for moving day. You can’t arrive into a cold dark house and expect a smooth day. Ask your agent for tips to get this set up a few days prior to your move.    




Winter Moving Day Essentials Box: These are the items you don’t want to pack at the back of the truck. Keep this stuff handy so you can easily access it on moving day.

  • 

Spare Gloves, hats and warm clothing 

  • Towels, tarps, garbage bags and blankets 

  • Crockpot, kettle, coffee & tea, warm snacks, mugs/ teaspoons 

  • Space Heater 

  • Salt or sand for the walkways

  • Snow Shovel  

  • Cash to tip your movers  

  • Toilet Paper  

  • Flashlight (in the case of a winter power outage)  

 


Moving homes in Winter doesn’t have to be too daunting, as long as you’re well prepared, flexible and approach your day with a positive attitude. If you’ve just bought or sold your home, you’ll know there are benefits to the off-season. And if you’re considering selling your home and buying in the winter, speak with your Home Guyz Agents to hear all the benefits and drawbacks that come with the real estate business in the winter season. 

Good luck with your move- and stay safe 😊

 

via GIPHY

Sept. 5, 2019

Fall Tips to Prepare you Home for Long Ottawa Winters | Ottawa Real Estate

Ottawa Home Winter Maintenance

Fall Tips to Prepare you Home for Long Ottawa Winters 



We hate to talk about this in September, but it’s inevitable, an Ottawa winter is on its way and that means now is the best time to prep your house for the elements. You’ll thank us mid- winter when your home is running smoothly and snuggly while the weather outside remains frightful.  



Over the next month we urge you to start thinking about how to prepare for the winter. This includes not only servicing, upgrading and repairing but also cleaning, ordering and organizing for winter.  The Home Guyz have prepared a checklist of things to get done over the next few months to ensure that you go into the winter season feeling organized and prepared.  Not only will the winter maintenance make life easier, it could benefit you later. If you decide to sell your home, having done the seasonal maintenance and repairs your house will have far more curb appeal and higher value.  You may find that the efficiency of your home increases (yay for saving money) and that regular maintenance will keep the home on better working order. 



Many of these tasks can be done yourself, however; some tasks may require professional services. While this may seem costly, having regular maintenance will not only ensure the job is done right, but in the long-run paying for an annual check-up will increase the lifespan of your homes fundamental elements and save yourself on hefty repair costs and huge inconveniences in the long run.  Make sure to take a look through your service agreement, or any additional insurance you may have alongside your mortgage as this may cover annual services so you should certainly take advantage of these existing benefits.

  • 

Change your floor mats - Everyone hates a soaker. Make sure to upgrade to your winter matts, switch out your novelty doormat and get out the larger heavy-duty floor mats that can absorb all that salt and slush. This will protect your flooring from salt stains, although it’s ugly, it’s a necessity during an Ottawa winter. 


  • Caulk windows and cracks - 
The best way to keep drafty doors and windows in check. Here is a great DIY video of how-to best caulk windows to keep the drafts out and keep your home more energy efficient. 


  • Get your chimneys swept - 
If you have a wood burning fire, your chimney will be full of soot that accumulates and can be a safety hazard. We don’t recommend this as a DIY, it’s messy and difficult and takes the right equipment but the job is essential to keep you family safe. Here is a local company who can help.
  • Turn off outside water - 
Disconnect hose and store inside. Take inside any lawn furniture, outdoor rugs and cushions, or lawn ornaments that can’t withstand a harsh winter. Bring umbrellas indoors for storage.
  • Get Heating system serviced - Replace your filter and get a general furnace check up. Refer back to your maintenance agreement, or additional insurance you have alongside your mortgage as this may cover annual servicing. You want to flag anything that may need fixing as early as possible before being caught without heat on a cold winter’s day. 


  • Prep your emergency boxes in both car and home - 
Make sure you have candles, flashlights, batteries, blankets and fully charged spare cell phone battery. Don’t forget to put your snow brush in your car, make sure your windshield wipers are up to par and book your appointment to get your winter tires changes, don’t wait until the first snow fall or you won’t get an appointment! 


  • Trim your trees - Do a quick check for any deal branches or tree branches that may be touching your homes roof. Cut them back to eliminate any branches breaking off and causing damage during an ice storm. 


  • Check you smoke and carbon monoxide detectors - If there is one thing on the list that’s a must, it is this one. Give them a quick check to keep your family safe. Did you know that the majority of house fires happen in the winter?! It’s important to make sure that they’re all in good working order.
  • Prepare for snow removal - Whether using a service or shovelling yourself make sure you have everything you need in good working order. Order or buy salt ahead of time, so you don’t get caught off-guard with the first freezing rain coming sooner than expected and no salt to throw down. Start-up your snow blower and make sure it’s easily accessible and in good working order.  If you use a professional service, contact them early and get your contract in order.


  • Clean your gutters - 
In late fall clean out the gutters from leaves and debris. As your up a ladder, you may as well plan ahead and put up your Christmas lights (but don’t turn them on too early, don’t be that person)


via GIPHY

So there you have it, The Home Guyz list to winter preparation for your home. Taking pride in home ownership, keeping your house properly maintained will keep your house’s value high and will save you a lot of unexpected costs and repairs. 

 


The Home Guyz Team at Solid Rock Realty


 

 

Aug. 2, 2019

Living in Small Spaces | The Home Guyz | Ottawa Real Estate

Living in Small Spaces; Can it Work For You?



Image by Patrick PerkinsWith the emergence of so many One Bedroom Condos in Ottawa, ON popping up around the City of Ottawa, we’ve noticed a trend towards living in small spaces. Many of the places The Home Guyz Team have had the opportunity to see lately have been some truly stellar small spaces. Maximizing your square footage is a new trend growing because of the amount of millennial families embracing the minimalist lifestyle and seeking affordable homes with a smaller square footage. 



Small space living isn’t for everyone, but we’ve experienced with clients who truly make a small space work for them by making their space functional. Are you wondering if a small space can work for you? Here are some things to contemplate before making the final decision: 


Minimize:  You have to be willing to minimize. Small spaces just aren’t for everyone. If purging your things gives you anxiety, then a small condo may not be the right choice for you (but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with other great options). You need to be okay with a lack of nick-knacks and chachkies; you simply don’t have the space for the stuff. Rest assured, this way of minimalist living is a healthy and sustainable lifestyle that can bring you a less stressful way of life. 



Think Upwards: You need to have the ability to think creatively and understand how to make good use of the space. Think upwards, high shelving for books and plants, hanging pots and pans. Utilizing every inch of the closet; all the way up to the ceiling, what can often be wasted space can turn into prime storage real estate. Having the ability to adapt your space and think outside the box. Being creative with your space is crucial to making the space functional.


Multi-Purpose Everything: Making sure that everything in your living space has a function, or even better, multiple functions. For example, an ottoman that has the ability to function as a side table, or a dining chair that can double as an office chair when needed.  If this idea feels disappointing, that having to limit your love for décor and abundance feels stifling, think about this as you deliberate the size of house that will work for you. (Ottomans can also offer storage too!)



Choose the Small Space Wisely: Make sure that the space you're buying is something that you can work with. Just because you’ve come to terms with living in a small space doesn’t mean that you’ll be okay with all small spaces.  For example, check the ceiling heights, the natural light, the storage. Think about those extras that need to be hidden (the vacuum, broom, laundry basket and gym bag).



Consider Your Lifestyle: If you are a home-body, your lifestyle is something to take into consideration when deciding if a small space can work for you.  If you’re happy to leave the house to go to the gym, or use the library instead of buying books, and go to the park for the kids to play rather than a backyard, then it may seem like an easy transition. If you like to hunker down at home and use it as your centre for activities then the transition into a small space may be difficult. 

 


Don’t feel too intimidated by small spaces, they can be a cozy and environmentally friendly way to live. But be aware that this way of living just simply isn’t right for every personality. It has to work for everyone in your household, and it has to be done with great consideration of the way you use your space, your lifestyle and priorities, and your stuff. It can also have great benefits to your finances, your carbon footprint, and your well-being.

Consider wisely and most of all, enjoy your home!

by:

The Home Guyz Team | OttawaRealEstate.ca

Solid Rock Realty Brokerage

Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash
June 24, 2019

Allergy proof your Home This Season

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Allergy Proof Your Home This Summer 

 

Anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies doesn’t need to be told that this year is particularly bad. The sneezing, runny nose, itchy watery eyes is driving the most level-headed people to consider selling their home and living in a bubble. You can check with The Home Guyz Team... But the Ottawa Real Estate Industry currently have zero bubbles for sale; but what they can provide is some alternative tips to eliminating pollen in your home.

Pollen is a super fine powder that is produced by trees, plants and grass during their reproductive cycle. So, while the plants are getting busy we’re left inhaling this powder which gets into our homes and settles on surfaces which in some people, triggers their immune system to react causing allergy symptoms. The Spring months usually bring tree pollen and in the height of summer, the grass pollens begin. In August and September and early Fall those who suffer from Ragweed allergies get their time. Often people can be allergic to more than one type and suffer with the pollen coming achoo … er, at you all summer long.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep the allergen particles out of your home so allergy sufferers can have a little relief this summer. Close the Doors and Windows. While closing your doors and windows isn’t the best way to enjoy that summer breeze, it is a good way to eliminate the pollen that makes its way into your home. If you’re waking up stuffed-up it’s time to close those windows at night. Limit the amount of time you keep the door open - it sounds simple and it is.

Get houseplants that purify the air. Many plants have the ability to purify the air by collecting pollen in their leaves and cleansing the air in your home. But be careful when selecting which ones; they must be plants that don’t cause allergies and they must be cared for properly. Make sure you wipe down the leaves that have collected dust and don’t allow the soil to sit damp as it will aggravate your allergies further. A few of the top suggested plants for purifying the air are Dracaena, Spider Plants (they’re easy to look after, a very self-sufficient plant) and a weeping fig (a little needier, but lovable just the same)

Replace furnace filters.

Change your filter on a regular basis. The allergens in the air travel through the vents and can pass pollen throughout the house causing your allergies to get worse. This should be done every three months, however, for allergy sufferers you should change you filter more frequently, every 20- 40 days. Often you may be tempted to not change it if it doesn’t look dirty. But don’t be fooled, it needs changing. Some thermostats, such as ecobee, will allow you to set a reminder to change your filter. Make sure to check the sizes, and always check the instructions to ensure you aren’t installing your filter backwards.

Pro Tip: Costco often sells bulk filters, so you can buy all your filters for the year in one trip.

Use HEPA filters.

Make sure you vacuum on a regular basis; and most importantly make sure you’re vacuum has a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are “high-efficiency particular air filter” This type of filter traps particles (ie pollen) and doesn’t allow the fine particles to escape and trigger your allergy symptoms. Sometimes a vacuum will claim that it has a HEPA filter, but not all the air will travel through the filter itself, so make sure you check for the sealed HEPA filter.

Wash your curtains.

If you have curtains, they need to be washed often. Pollen can settle into any type of fabric, so either eliminate the curtains in the summer months; or be prepared to throw them in the wash bi-weekly.

Don’t forget the throw pillows.

Washing your bedding weekly is common place, we often forget about the throw and decorative pillows. While they may not appear to be dirty, they’re likely hanging onto particles that are making your allergies worse. If you can, pack away the additional pillows and decorative blankets for the summer months to eliminate the problem altogether.

Wash your dog.

Pollen particles can stick to dogs and they can drag it throughout the house unknowingly causing your seasonal allergy symptoms to worsen. Make sure to wipe down your furry friend when they’ve been playing outside. Don’t let your dog sleep or sit on the bed or couch, as they’ll leave particles behind making your allergies worse. Pro Tip: Wiping down your dog is a good habit to get into because it will also alert you to any ticks they may have picked up while outside.

We know these tips can’t eliminate your allergies, but they’ll certainly help while inside your home. We hope you’ll breathe easy this summer!

 

OttawaRealEstate.ca & The Home Guyz Team

Posted in Information